Saddle club spurs up fun in the sun
The Walsh County Saddle Club (WCSC) braved the elements last Saturday in Park River for an Aggie Arena Fun Day that consisted of heat, rain and a good time of racing barrels, poles and flag races.
The event was rescheduled from earlier in the year but the opportunity for riders to train or try out different horses in a non-competitive environment was a huge draw.
Jette Peterka from Pisek said, “It gives me a chance to play on non-trained horses and it helps the horses that don’t normally get to be around the excitement of a competition adjust to the atmosphere.”
The fun day also brought in riders that are new to the sport and gave younger riders a chance to try it out.
Ten-year-old Peyton Schroeder from Fordville said she still gets nervous as this was the first time back after a two-year hiatus from riding in a competition. “Barrels are fun,” she said. Peyton also tried the poles and the flag race.
A flag race is when riders take a red flag on a stick from a bucket on top of the first barrel, and place it in the bucket on the second barrel, then take the blue flag from the second bucket and place it back in the first.
Another fun event to watch was the team sack race. This event paired up a set of riders that had to each hold an end of a gunny sack and maneuver their horses around the barrel course without letting go of the sack.
For the non-riders the group included a boot race in which each participant had to take off their boots or shoes and place them into a gunny sack. The sack was then emptied halfway down the arena into a pile. The participants then raced on foot and had to find their boots or shoes, put them on and run back.
Codi Bell, a seven-year-old from Fordville, in reference to riding the barrels and the poles, said, “I like going fast, but only trotting.” To make Doc (her horse) go fast she kicks him and makes a clucking sound, she added.
Five-year-old James Larson rode his horse Jackson during the pole events with the help of his older sister Kristen. When asked how he goes fast he said, “I kick him (Jackson), but he doesn’t like it.”
The WCSC has one more event scheduled for the year and that is this coming Sunday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 2. Aggie Arena will host the last sanctioned National Barrel Horse Association race for the year for North Dakota District 1 before the state finals that will be held in Devils Lake on Sept. 21-22. The event is a two-day doubleheader that begins at 10:30 a.m. In regard to these two runs, there will be stalls available for $25.00 which can be reserved by calling Ginger Peterka 701-331-0361 or Sally Larson 701-331-1971.